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Here's how it stands with Western civilization—what's left of it, I mean—insofar as various Westerners are concerned.
You keep your lip buttoned whenever foes, internal as well as external, jump up and down on you, kick you around, make known their fondest wish is to do you in, ideals and all. You hope for the best while doing nothing.
You follow, that is to say, the counsel of "Jacques," who posted Monday on the New York Times' website, disburdening himself as follows concerning the Sunday shootings at the Mohammed poster contest in Garland, Texas:
"The Far Right is using 'freedom' as a stick to beat and provoke Muslims. Cartoons depicting the Prophet Mohammed do not advance the cause of freedom one iota. It is provocation pure and simple."
Maybe not so "pure," maybe not so "simple," Jacques. The Jacques line of thought is heavily represented in commentary on the shootings of the two men whose apparent goal was to disrupt, with hot lead, a lightly attended event of which I had been previously unaware: just 19 miles from my home.
The American Freedom Defense Initiative, New York-based organizer of the event, is under verbal assault for stirring up the animals (H. L. Mencken's delicious phrase). Why, if the AFDI folk hadn't invited ridicule of the Prophet, all would have been peachy!
I would venture that depends on your definition of peachy. If you mean quiet—well, yeah. Why quiet, nevertheless? Out of general agreement on first principles? Or out of intimidation: the self-suppression of viewpoints, honestly arrived at but depicted as rotten and shameful by "opinion-makers."
A shameful viewpoint, in these times of religious flux, is the unassailability of Islam, the religion that millions of migrants are bringing to the capitals of the nominally Christian West and insisting on practicing their own way, without reference to local norms. For instance, the opinion-makers consider it rude and boorish today to insist on the preponderant truth of Christianity, as narrated in the Creeds. Say all that stuff in church, if you must, but don't press your case outside, lest the sensibilities of "others" be offended.
When radical Muslim preachers, nevertheless, stir up jihad against the decadent, febrile West, we're counseled not to take with any great alarm the growing presence of such preachers—and the growing fervor of their followers. We're progressive Westerners; we believe in outreach and understanding.
For genuine progressives, such sentiments come naturally. Supernatural religion, contrasted with the religions of this world (e.g., private jets and sex-any-way-you-want-it) doesn't much interest today's elites. They can take it or, better yet, leave it. Can't we all just knock off this truth-claims stuff? Not really, inasmuch as "Truth," by definition, rises superior to competing claims. You see anyway why our progressive elites see no point in disputing or "insulting" Islamic truth claims. Who cares, you know?
Certainly, the elite assure us, no one should "insult" the Prophet (though insulting Jesus, the Second Person of the Trinity, and therefore superior to all prophets, seems no big deal to our taste-makers). Insult the Prophet and, hey, followers of his, the likes of the Garland Two, got guns! You wouldn't want to see them use those guns, would you? So—keep it down.
That the Garland Two wound up unnecessarily dead—victims of their own mental torments—is unfortunate, as I trust anyone would acknowledge. That the American Freedom Defense Initiative pulled the triggers in question is nonsense.
Who got to this new land first, Christians or radical jihadists? Who built the churches and democratic institutions and sunk deep the foundations of Western civilization—of all civilizations the freest and most generous? Who established here the freest, most democratic government in history, for all its latterday mishaps and misjudgments?
It is sad that two who enjoyed the undoubted blessings of a civilization not their own recoiled violently against that civilization. It is sadder yet to see this tale of malice and moral confusion play out 19 miles from the place I call home.
William Murchison's latest book is The Cost of Liberty: The Life of John Dickinson. He writes from Dallas, Tex. To find out more about William Murchison, and to see features by other Creators Syndicate commentators, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.Creators.com.
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I believe a major factor is that the educational system has largely failed to transmit Western civilisation (or any civilisation) and the logical thinking that has been the hallmark of our kind. Our leaders and a vast array of our fellow citizens are pseudo-intellectuals. They have been deprived of the common sense of the unlearned but failed to reach the wisdom of the learned. They think they are smart, but actually live in a rootless, empty pseudo-reality.
What the New York Jackals are really angry over is that Texans have guns and none were killed by the worshipers of the Moslem God. I find nothing unfortunate about the demise of such. By the way why hasn't the race of those two miscreants been disclosed? Its a redundant question.
"Who got to this new land first, Christians or radical jihadists? Who built the churches and democratic institutions and sunk deep the foundations of Western civilization—of all civilizations the freest and most generous? Who established here the freest, most democratic government in history, for all its latterday mishaps and misjudgments?" Mr. Murchison seems blissfully unaware that democracy, freedom and Christianity (yes Christianity!) are precisely what has allowed this farcical set of circumstances to come into being. Furthermore, 'Christianity' and 'Western civ' are rather questionable terms, long subject to abuse and manipulation by the uninformed and the unscrupulous. Finally, it is debatable whether Texas is truly a member of 'Western civ', whatever that might be.
An otherwise excellent article, marred by this: "That the Garland Two wound up unnecessarily dead—victims of their own mental torments—is unfortunate, as I trust anyone would acknowledge." I do NOT so acknowledge!
What is so "unfortunate" about it? Shouldn't a morally healthy soul rather see this as cause for celebration? "Two would-be murderers were killed by police doing their jobs before the former were able to murder American citizens." HOORAY! is the normal reaction, I should think. Otherwise, kudos to Pamela Geller for her event, designed both to remind people that the Bill of Rights takes precedence over Muslim "sensibilities" (esp, I would add to the Jewish Ms. Geller, in this Christian nation), and to build up a healthy sense among the people that we are not, nor will ever be, a Muslim-hospitable country (ie, we don't want you Muslims here in the USA, and if you don't like it - TOO BAD! Go away! Stay in your own countries). XXXXX Also, an excellent comment from Prof. Wilson ("They have been deprived of the common sense of the unlearned but failed to reach the wisdom of the learned."), articulating my own thoughts perfectly (I think I will use that line in the future!). Our "elites" are worse than useless; they are dangerous. Falsehood understood to be real knowledge is far more dangerous than mere ignorance. I think of the nonsense of Keynesian economics here. Ordinary, uneducated people know that neither individuals nor nations can spend themselves rich, as do real economists, whether classical or "Austrian". The problem is fools like Obama, Pelosi, et al (Boehner, McCain, etc?), who are gullibly led to think that "deficits don't matter", "we don't need a manufacturing sector", "monetary debasement will trigger prosperity" (not to mention other gems of liberal and GOP lunacy, like "giving US citizenship and full food stamp and one man-one vote privileges to 40 million criminal Mexicans will raise living standards for ordinary Americans").
Pontius Pilate: "What is Truth?"
We haven't learned. This moral, cultural, religious, and ethnic relativism is the bane of Western civilisation and will probably end it.
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